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Where to Find the Best Views in Reykjavik


Where to Find the Best Views in Reykjavik
Hi, I'm Claire!

Claire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at GoodBeerHunting.com. Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

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Hi, I'm Claire!

Claire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at GoodBeerHunting.com. Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

see more

It isn’t hard to find scenic corners in Reykjavik. From its multicolored houses and striking architectural highlights to its Atlantic scenery and distant mountains, the Icelandic capital is bursting with beautiful vistas. Bring your camera with you, and get ready to explore—here’s where to find the best views in Reykjavik.

Hallgrím's Church (Hallgrímskirkja)

Holier-than-thou views.

One of Reykjavik’s most recognizable landmarks, Hallgrím's Church, built beginning in the 1940s and famed for its modern design, is also an excellent vantage point. Ascend to the top of its 240-foot (73-meter) tower—one of the highest structures in the country—and capture photos of the rainbow-hued houses below.

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Hallgrímskirkja is one of the best viewpoints in the city. Photo: Brian Fulda / Viator

Harpa Building

You'll be Harpa-ing on about the views.

Among Reykjavik’s most distinctive attractions, the gleaming Harpa Building, with its geometric lines and glass facade, is a photogenic landmark. A concert hall and conference center that debuted in 2011 and was designed in part by artist Olafur Eliasson, the Harpa Building is free to explore—and offers sweeping views over the water.

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Perlan

Admire the "northern lights" year-round.

The Perlan (“The Pearl” in English) is a must-see museum, an architectural highlight, as well as an ideal observation point. Located on the top of Öskjuhlíð Hill, the Perlan offers spectacular panoramic views of the city. Its dome is also home to celestial shows—if you aren’t lucky enough to see the northern lights in real life, its Áróra show is the next best thing.

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If you can't see the northern lights in real life, see them at Perlan. Photo: Brian Fulda / Viator

Helicopter Tours

For unrivalled aerial views.

If it’s wide-ranging views and unforgettable panoramas that you’re after, then there’s only one answer—take to the air. Helicopter tours don’t just offer spectacular views of the Icelandic capital and the Skarfabakki Harbour, they also whisk you away to Mt. Esja and soar over the Atlantic.

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Sun Voyager

Add sculptural intrigue to your snaps.

The Sun Voyager—a 1990 sculpture by artist Jón Gunnar Árnason (and known locally as Sólfar)—was designed to resemble a Viking vessel. Depending on the way that you face, you can use the artwork in the foreground of your seaside shots or in your photos of the Reykjavik cityscape.

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See all Reykjavik tours
906 tours & tickets
Things to do in Reykjavik
See all things to do in Reykjavik
4 Must-See Reykjavik Neighborhoods and How to Visit
4 Must-See Reykjavik Neighborhoods and How to Visit